Scarlett Johansson has sued Walt Disney Co for breach of contract for streaming the film Black Widow on the Disney+ channel at the same time as the cinema release.

Disney responded by saying there was "no merit" to the Jo Jo Rabbit actresses claim, saying it had complied with her contract.

The Marriage Story actor held that the dual release strategy of "Black Widow" had reduced her compensation, which was based partly on box office receipts from what was supposed to be an exclusive run in cinemas.

The film company said in a statement that the release of the movie on its streaming platform had "significantly enhanced her (Johansson's) ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20 million (€16m) she has received to date."

Black Widow was released in the US over two weeks ago in US cinemas and for a $30 (€26) charge on the Disney+ streaming service.

Disney has been using the hybrid pattern to release films during the coronavirus pandemic while many cinemas around the world were closed.

Johansson also claimed in legal documents lodged that Disney wanted to steer audiences towards Disney+, "where it could keep the revenues for itself while simultaneously growing the Disney+ subscriber base, a proven way to boost Disney's stock price".

"Second, Disney wanted to substantially devalue Ms Johansson's agreement and thereby enrich itself," the legal papers claimed.

The legal papers also state that the actress' representatives had approached Disney about resolving the issue but were "largely ignored."